Porous nanocellulose gels and foams : Breakthrough status in the development of scaffolds for tissue engineering

Filipe V. Ferreira, Caio G. Otoni, Kevin J. De France, Hernane S. Barud, Liliane M.F. Lona, Emily D. Cranston*, Orlando J. Rojas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)


We report on the latest scientific advances related to the use of porous foams and gels prepared with cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) and nanocrystals (CNC) as well as bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) – collectively nanocelluloses – as biomedical materials for application in tissue regeneration. Interest in such applications stems from the lightweight and strong structures that can be efficiently produced from these nanocelluloses. Dried nanocellulose foams and gels, including xerogels, cryogels, and aerogels have been synthesized effortlessly using green, scalable, and cost-effective techniques. Methods to control structural features (e.g., porosity, morphology, and mechanical performance) and biological interactions (e.g., biocompatibility and biodegradability) are discussed in light of specific tissues of interest. The state-of-the-art in the field of nanocellulose-based scaffolds for tissue engineering is presented, covering physicochemical and biological properties relevant to these porous systems that promise groundbreaking advances. Specifically, these materials show excellent performance for in vitro cell culturing and in vivo implantation. We report on recent efforts related to BNC scaffolds used in animal and human implants, which furthermore support the viability of CNF- and CNC-based scaffolds in next-generation biomedical materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-141
Number of pages16
JournalMaterials Today
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


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